Citizenship and Jus Soli. Does Birthright Citizenship Matter for the Second Generation? : A Single Case Study of the Experiences of the Children of Immigrants in Italy

University essay from Malmö universitet/Fakulteten för kultur och samhälle (KS)

Abstract: In European countries, citizenship is mostly based on the principle of jus sanguinis, which means that citizenship is passed from parent to child. There are currently no European countries that apply unconditional jus soli, therefore there is no European country where a child becomes a citizen solely because he is born there, as it happens in the United States. There are countries that use conditional jus soli, which means that children become citizens if they fulfil certain requirements. Italy is one of the European countries with the strictest requirements. The relation between life experiences and citizenship status for the second generation is a topic that is not studied extensively, especially in regards to Europe.The aim of this paper is to find out if the citizenship law that is currently in force in Italy has effect for the second generation in regards to their legal status, their rights and their identity.  The method used is a qualitative approach. The data for this study was collected through five semi-structured interviews. The main findings are that current Italian citizenship law has effects on the legal status of the second generation and on their access to certain rights, while it does not have a major influence on their identity.  

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